|Our 2010 Christmas Card. From Original Watercolor by jojo sabalvaro-tan|
The painting used is part of the Italian Masters series I have been working on. This was influenced by Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli or Il Botticello"The Little Barrel"; (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510) who was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento).
To neutralize all these cyberspace stuff a bit, I decided to make my own Christmas cards featuring one of my watercolors. I consider the card as a memento and gift for our friends and family, especially those that I don't see often. To my surprise and delight, I found out that many are collecting them each year and redisplay them every Christmas. The theme I chose is that of the Mother and Child, one of my favorite subject matters to paint. I love how this puts me in a meditative mood, I am always saying one my favorite Marian prayers as I paint:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Throughout the year, I would produce several Mother and Child paintings. No one can accuse me of not keeping Christmas in my heart all year round, as I have background Christmas music playing on my IPod as I paint these images. Sometimes, as was the case this year, I may not be satisfied with the paintings I produced so far that I would be painting up until my self-imposed deadline. At long last, I am ready to have my husband and family elect their favorites from all of my Madonna and Child paintings, a task my husband dread since he feels if he picks one over another, it will hurt my artistic sensibilities . Well. he may have a point there.... hmmm.... After I settle on a painting, we would collaborate on our message that will go inside the card. The painting is sent off to a local printer who will usually have the proof ready for my review in a couple of days. Sometimes, this process goes back and forth two or three times until I am satisfied with the proof. and then it is printed and usually ready for pick up in another couple of days. Last year, I went a different route and ordered online using Shutterfly. I liked it for the convenience but did not like being limited by the styles and sizes of the cards available.
Some years, I also write a Christmas letter that summarizes what went on with my husband and I and our immediate family during the year and enclose it with the card. I also make custom address labels by scanning the image of the painting and using that on the label. Once the printed cards arrive,and a quick trip to the local post office to purchase stamps, it is like mass production - addressing, signing, stamping, stuffing, sealing and mailing.
These were the other contenders for our 2010 Christmas Card. As you can see they are all stylistically different which makes for a hard choice. Who knows, one or more of these may still find themselves on future cards.
Hope you enjoyed our Christmas Card for 2010. I am already working on the cards for 2011.